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Teaching Simulation to Enhance In-Home Care

Posted on May 29, 2018 by Jayme Maley

Simulation education doesn’t end once a student leaves the classroom and enters the hospital as a healthcare provider. Medical professionals are using the tools and tactics with which they were taught, and educating patients, families, and caregivers for post-hospital care.

Hospital patient education programs already include videos and checklists, but organizations like the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) are encouraging hospitals to include simulation scenarios to educate patients and caregivers regarding at-home care. Simulation prior to discharge provides them with an opportunity to practice, ask questions, and gain a level of confidence on the skills they need before leaving the hospital and performing procedures at home.

At the 2018 INI/NPSF Patient Safety Congress, which hosts more than 1,300 medical professionals, organizers hosted on-going live simulation scenarios such as, “We’re Not in Kansas Anymore: A Preemie Homecoming,” and “You’ve Always Had the Power: Empower Peritoneal Dialysis Patients for Home Care.”

These scenarios did not focus on the actual procedure the family/caregiver would be performing at home for a premature baby or dialysis patient, but rather how to approach incorporating simulation for patients’ and caregivers’ education before leaving the hospital. Simulations were created to:

  • Overcome feelings of being uncomfortable acting out the procedure
  • Address the caregiver’s nervousness about forgetting some details
  • Provide a comfortable level of communication between the medical professionals and at-home caregivers

During the debriefing of an audience of around 50 attendees, the presenter asked, “How many of you currently use simulation in your hospital?” Only three audience members raised their hands, and when asked, “How many use simulation in post-hospital and family care plan?” only one of the three kept their hand up.

However, all the audience members agreed that the practice of incorporating this type of simulation as part of the post-hospital care plan would be beneficial in decreasing the family/caregiver return to the hospital for assistance with post-hospital care.

Program Objectives for Pre-Discharge Simulation

  • Summarize the training and education opportunities for patients and families before they leave the hospital
  • Identify ways to use simulation when educating patients and family
  • Discuss opportunities with and approaches for engaging Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) members in designing appropriate patient education and instructions
  • List ways to empower patients and families to troubleshoot and provide safe care in the home
  • Identify opportunities in your organization for educating and training patients and families for safer care at home

(Source: Patient Safety Congress, “Free from Harm” program guide)

For more information on equipping a simulation program contact a Pocket Nurse sales representative, visit www.PocketNurse.com, or request a catalog. For more information on in situ simulation, see our blog post on in situ simulation for residents. 

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Jayme Maley is Pocket Nurse Marketing Manager. She attended the IHI/NPSF Patient Safety Congress last week; the theme of the congress was “Free from Harm.”

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